Action will be taken to separate a soldier for misconduct when it is clearly established that:
- Despite attempts to rehabilitate or develop him or her as a satisfactory soldier, further effort is unlikely to succeed…
- Rehabilitation is impracticable or soldier is not amenable to rehabilitation…
- An unfit medical condition is not the direct or substantial contributing cause of his or her conduct.
If convicted by a civilian court, separation is not mandatory but retention will be considered only in exceptionally meritorious cases when clearly in the best interest of the Army.
According to the Army, Abuse of illegal drugs is serious misconduct. Second-time offenders, and first-time offenders in pay grades E5-E9, must be processed for separation. For first-time offenders in pay grades E1-E4, the separation authority will decide whether to separate, based on recommendations from the immediate and intermediate commanders.